The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating former President Donald Trump as part of a criminal probe into “efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”
This, according to a report by the Washington Post, which cites four people allegedly familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors have been questioning witnesses before a grand jury regarding Trump’s conversations and involvement in an alleged scheme to replace electors.
“The prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led … his pressure campaign on Pence to overturn the election; and what instructions Trump gave his lawyers and advisers about fake electors and sending electors back to the states,” the report reads.
The Post also reports that investigators received the phone records of key members of Trump’s staff, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
While previous reporting has maintained the Justice Department had been actively examining the behavior of Trump allies, this latest news marks the first indicator that the former President is himself a target of the Biden DOJ.
The latest report indicating Biden’s Justice Department is investigating Trump comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed a willingness to prosecute the likely 2024 GOP candidate for his alleged role in the January 6th riot at the Capitol.
NBC News’ Lester Holt asked whether indicting a former president would “arguably tear the country apart” in an interview Tuesday.
Garland replied, “Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor.”
“We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable,” he added. “That’s what we do.”
Sources told the Washington Post that there are two criminal matters the Justice Department could be investigating in relation to Trump: “Seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding” and “potential fraud.”
The alleged fraud would center around “the false-electors scheme” or pressure the former President put on officials to “falsely claim that the election was rigged.”
President Biden had previously expressed interest in avoiding investigations of his predecessor but has since taken an angry tact when discussing the Capitol riot.
Biden, prior to that riot but just after defeating Trump in the 2020 election, reportedly told advisers he “just wants to move on.”
But January 6th appears to have been a bridge too far.
The President, in a speech to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference on Monday, appeared visibly angry regarding the riot.
“And for three hours, the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office,” Biden claimed.
“While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers were subject to the medieval hell for three hours — dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage, face to face with a crazed mob that believed in the lies of the defeated president,” he continued.
Currently, over 840 suspects have been charged in the January 6 Capitol riot. No former president has ever been charged with a crime in the history of the United States. The Biden administration might just change that.
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